December 27, 2013
For the duration of his career, Clay Amezquita has been one of Fallon's top wrestlers.
Injuries, though, derailed his junior season after taking third at state as a sophomore. The 126-pounder was rolling through the competition but suffered a concussion about midway through the season and was not cleared for action until the offseason.
Nevertheless, the determined senior has rebounded this season and is off to a strong start. He has compiled a 13-3 record and aims for more during the Sierra Nevada Classic today and Saturday at the Reno Livestock Events Center. Today's action begins at 9 a.m.
"We have a chance to win state," Amezquita said.
His determination to recover and regain his form is the driving force behind Amezquita's desire to wrestle in college. Last season he shot out of the gate with an unblemished record, but then came the concussion.
The offseason provided him an opportunity to rest, refocus and be back on top of his game. Reality, though, caught up with Amezquita.
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"I thought I was going to jump back into it the way it was," he said. "I started off kind of slow in that first match (a loss)."
Despite the first match rust, Amezquita ripped of 12 straight wins before dropping two of three at last week's Reno Tournament of Champions.
"I have a lot of motivation to keep up with how I was doing last year," he added.
A state title, though, is what drives Amezquita to be the best in his class. He has redefined his quest to a title by adding more work into his practice sessions.
Better conditioning, being stronger, technically sound and disciplined are all areas Amezquita is striving to excel.
"The only way to look at it now is a state championship," he said. "I got to stay on top of myself and make sure I keep doing what I need to do. I can be wrestling good one weekend and be totally different the next week."
As for the future, Amezquita has laid the groundwork to join a college program. He visited Southern Oregon University in Ashland and spoke with the coaching staff.
"Hopefully, doing well this season will help me go to school for that," he said. "When I started out (wrestling), I never thought it would go this far. It's something I want to do and can do."
In addition to hitting the recruiting trail, Amezquita said he is focused on his cardio and confidence. The loss of a promising junior season rattled his mindset.
"I definitely feel the confidence coming back," he added. "I feel a lot better."